Midwest rockers Motion City Soundtrack give their best post-grunge impression on their studio debut, I Am the Movie. It's probably the slickest thing Epitaph has released up to this point and pretty stylish compared to their celebrated punk roster (Bad Religion, Pennywise, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys), but who's to say that Motion City Soundtrack isn't worthy of being on such a label? I Am the Movie is layered with rich guitar hooks and small electronic bits are precisely tweaked throughout the 14-song set. The band's fierce musicianship is solid and frontman/guitarist Justin Pierre's emo-tinged vocals are charming, and fans of Jimmy Eat World and the like will enjoy that. What's made Epitaph a staple among the punk community all these years is their ability to single out the pure rock & roll grit, and Motion City Soundtrack doesn't exactly possess such energy. But don't write 'em off just yet. I Am the Movie is ambitious in presentation and pop kids latching onto the new-millennium wave of post-alternative rock will appreciate the band's whimsical rock sound. Motion City Soundtrack might be aiming for that polished punk-inspired style and obviously they're eager in effort, so the potential is there. There's nothing wrong with some shiny punk-pop.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson